When an elderly person can no longer take care of himself or herself due to medical reasons, a long term care facility can provide necessary medical attention and supervision. Long term care facilities provide a place where the elderly person can live while always having medical personnel nearby.

Types of Long Term Care Facilities

There are several different types of long term care facilities to choose from. The right one for you or your loved one depends on the level of care necessary and your financial means. They include hospital-based skilled nursing facilities, skilled nursing facilities (SNF), intermediate care facilities (ICF), and custodial care facilities (nursing homes), all discussed below.

Hospital-Based Skilled Nursing Facilities

This type of long term care facility is also known as Extended Care Facilities. It’s usually best for those recovering from serious illness, injury, or surgery. Hospital-based skilled nursing facilities offer the highest level of care, but cost the most ($300 to $500 per day).

Hospital-based skilled nursing facilities:

  • offer 24-hour monitoring and intensive rehabilitative therapy
  • are intended for short stays (usually days or weeks)
  • are usually covered by Medicare or private insurance

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)

Skilled nursing facilities provided a very high level of medical care as well as personal care and assistance. They are usually best for those who have illnesses or impairments that require close monitoring. SNFs are fairly expensive, ranging from $200 to $500 per day.

Skilled nursing facilities:

  • offer 24-hour supervision by vocational and registered nurses
  • offer many rehabilitative therapies
  • are intended for relatively short stays (weeks to a few months)
  • are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance

Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF)

Intermediate Care Facilities offer a level of medical care just below SNFs (discussed above). ICFs are best for people with chronic ailments who will stay there for a long time. ICFs cater to both medical needs as well as personal assistance. They usually charge $150 to $400 per day.

Intermediate care facilities:

  • offer 24-hour supervision by licensed nurses
  • are intended for long stays, often the remainder of the person’s life
  • are partially covered by Medicaid

Custodial Care Facilities (Nursing Homes)

Custodial care facilities provide personal assistance as well as low level nursing needs. Additionally, nursing homes provide recreational and social activities for the residents. Nursing homes are the cheapest of long-term care facilities, charging about $100 to $250 per day.

Custodial care facilities:

  • are best for people who do not need constant medical monitoring
  • are intended for long stays, often the remainder of the person’s life
  • are sometimes covered by Medicare

Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care is not generally covered in most health insurance plans. As such, insurance providers are increasingly offering separate long term care insurance policies to cover a wide range of care options. Individuals can purchase policies for a set number of years of care or for indefinite coverage. Policies can vary significantly in terms of payment options, what care is included and how long the coverage lasts. Obtaining long term care insurance is a good way to ensure that you receive the care you need while protecting your financial assets and those of your family.

Elder Abuse and Neglect

Elder abuse has become a growing concern over the past few decades, especially involving long term care facilities. In 1992, Congress passed the Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection Program, amending the Older Americans Act of 1965, and enhancing the rights of seniors.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can range from taking advantage of an older person to physically abusing or neglecting her. Some types of elder abuse include:

  • Physical abuse – such as hitting, pushing, sexually abusing
  • Mental abuse – such as creating mental anguish, intimidating, threatening
  • Financial scams – such as using the resources of an elderly person without her consent and for an individual’s own benefit
  • Neglect – such as failing to take physical care of the elderly person, often resulting in physical problems

Do I Need an Attorney for My Long Term Care Facility Matter?

If you know someone who is a victim of elder abuse in a long term care facility, you should speak to an insurance lawyer immediately to learn more about what can be done to stop it. For other long term care matters, having an attorney explain the different laws and regulations relating to long term care facilities will help you understand your legal rights.